Hey Pocky Way, Althea, Little Red Rooster, When Push Comes To Shove, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Ramble On Rose, Addam's Family, Cassidy, Deal Gimme Some Lovin'*, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Samson & Delilah-> Terrapin Station-> Drums-> Jam-> The Wheel-> Truckin'-> Stella Blue-> Sugar Magnolia, E: It's All Over Now Baby Blue
Cleanup by Chris Frisco of previous seed; SBD>C>DAT>CDR; See info file for details
April 9, 2022 Subject:
Where my GD journey began!
Here it is folks….my 1st show!!! Yes, this is where I got on the bus! And after this night it was full steam ahead!! I was still in high school at the time and there was a buzz going around earlier that summer about how good the JFK shows were that the Dead did with Dylan and many of the remnants from that scene were still lingering around keeping the vibe fresh in the city.
1987 was a banner year for the Dead and Philly. They played the city 7 times that year. Three Spectrum shows in March, the JFK Stadium show in July and then three more Spectrum shows in September.
I can remember the parking lot scene was still in the days when you could set up camp for three days and not be hassled. We had taken the L train to the stadium complex and when we came out of the subway and out onto the street all you saw was oceans of tye dye flags in every parking lot and the smell of burgers and dogs cooking everywhere. As we began walking through the scene I knew immediately that I was home!
We spent a few hours circling the arena parking lot tasting, smoking and ingesting everything that there was to be offered and believe me - there was A LOT!!! As twilight approached the crowd began to filter towards the doors. Hundreds of conversations mingling together as we collectively squeezed our ways through the birth canals of the front doors and into the show!
Upon bursting into entrance we were surrounded by the echoed chaos of the concourse of the good ole Spectrum. With a steady flow of tye-dyed traffic and twirling dead heads at every glance, somehow we found our way to the beer stand and at 17 years old also somehow were able to buy several beers without any problem. Ah, the good ole days. Now you can’t even buy booze or cigarettes in your 50’s without I.D. in many places!
Anyway, back to 1987. I can remember thinking that I wouldn’t remember any of that night due to the alchemistic mix of hallucinogenics I had taken on all of those several trips around the arena in the parking lot a few hours earlier thinking everything I had taken was fake! (Ha, I guess the joke was on me)! But now, ALL that I had ingested was rushing into my being all at once like a freight train! Then the house lights went out!!!
The crowd roared and I immediately forgot where I even was!!! When the band started and the stage lights came on I was amazed at how silvery silver Garcia’s hair was. I know that may sound strange but that’s what I remember. It was probably the way the light was hitting his hair and how the “HITS” were hitting me!!!
As the band launched into it’s first set I was frozen in place reassembling the fragments of what was left of my cognitive understanding of the meaning of reality. I think I stood frozen in place at the entrance-way of the upper section for the first several songs as I observed the crowd below swaying to the music like a sea of joyful humanity being steered by a hypnotic musical force!
As each song went on I was being enveloped into a tribal family of peaceful unity that was not present in my “regular” world! As I looked around the place I can remember thinking “ now these are my type of people”!!! Everyone was accenting each part of the music in unified gestures and there were no boundaries between stage and the crowd. I suddenly understood what the famed Acid Tests must have been like that I had read so much about! And now here I was grooving with the Acid Tests house band!!! Somebody pinch me!
That is when the girl came floating by in a long white glittering gown and asked for a hit of our joint to which we gladly obliged and then she went floating off on her way… leaving us to wonder if we had imagined the whole thing?
During the intermission I sat in the upper level analyzing the dancing shadows of all of the people that were being cast onto the ceiling of the Spectrum, (a.k.a. the basement). The Spectrum had comfortable soft plush seats spaced generously apart from each other with a low ceiling that gave it that “stoner basement” feel. Is it any wonder the Dead played there 53 times!?
As the second set rumbled on I kept thinking the ceiling was going to cave in as the band kept screaming that they were going to “tear this old building down”!!! I was greatly relieved that they reconsidered and instead steered the vibe into a dramatic toned tale of a terrapin powered train ride that was struggling to get it’s brakes to work!
By the time the show had progressed to the Drums>Space segment I’m most certain that I had journeyed into deep dimensions of altered conscienceness that simply can’t be explained into words. I do, however, remember that when the smoke cleared from the Space jam and The Wheel came dripping it’s way in, that I began to remember that I was on earth and that I think I have even heard this song before!
But when Truckin’ kicked in, then I remembered….YES, I’m at a DEAD show!!! I may not know my own name right now, but I do know that I am at a Dead show!!! In fact, I think I even sung some of the lyrics! (and giggled the rest)!
A roaring Sugar Mag was also a familiar song to me at that tender age and it was then that I may have actually danced my first dance steps at a Dead show. After what seemed like several eons of musical journeys the band finally declared that “it was all over now baby blue”, whoever she is?
The band finished, the lights came on, people began leaving and I sat there wondering….how am I ever going to get home from here…, when….I am already home!!!?
May 24, 2021 Subject:
Nice bounce back show
After the lameness that was 9-20, this show rebounds nicely. Not as good as 9-18, of course, and without a single jam like the Playin' of 9-19, this show still features many strong songs. Hey Pocky Way starts the proceedings in party mode with a Nawlins flavor; it was the first of only two I caught. After that it's pretty standard stuff, but the Cassidy\Deal duo closes with ferocious energy.
Now the second set. Others have complained of sloppiness, but I felt that the China>Rider hit serious heights, especially the transition jam, after Spencer Davis added some snappy guitar and solid vocals to Gimme Some Lovin. I was majorly disappointed to hear Samson, really wanting that Estimated>Eyes that didn't come during the 9/18-20 run, but getting a second Terrapin in 4 shows wasn't half bad. "Space" is actually a repetition, over and over, of the Handsome Cabin Boy theme. "Space" proper is the last 3 minutes or so of "Drums." "Two Soldiers Jam" contains a Playin' tease. The rest of the set is a nice song selection, but rather tired sounding.
A solid 3 star show.
July 11, 2018 Subject:
Bobby's Guitar Too Low
Great recording and a great show. This was my 6th or 7th show. My only complaint is that Bobby's guitar was way too low during China Cat.
Otherwise...still 5 stars. Say Thank You Spencer!
March 23, 2018 Subject:
My first show!!
My folks took me to this show on my 7th birthday!! We sat in the sky box and I remember staring at Jerry playing for hours. I’ll forever be grateful.
November 14, 2016 Subject:
Such a beautiful version...not unlike many other versions which are on par. A great hunter lyric. Fragile and gorgeous.
February 13, 2015 Subject:
I was there
Nice to hear it again
November 26, 2010 Subject:
THE SPECTRUM WAS JAM PACKED FULL OF HUNGRY HEADS DANCING UP INTO THE CORNERS OF THE RAFTERS.SUGAR MAG/SUNSHINE WAS A SMOKER & A TOKER, BRENT NEARLY FALLIN OFF HIS BENCH DURING POCKY WAY,THERE WAS A SWEET VIBE THAT SWEPT THROUGH THESE THREE SHOWS,ESP THE BUCKET ON 24TH,OUTSIDE WAS CRISP AND THE DYES WERE EVERYWHERE..IT WAS A WOOL SWEATER SHOW INDEED....THEN THREE YEARS LATER YOURE DOWN IN LANDOVER FOR SPRING DEADING AND THEY RIPPED IT LIKE THEY DID AT EACH OF THE PEAKS OF THE THREE PHILLY SHOWS.TIED-IN,YEARS APART,BUT NICE AND NEAT.
September 23, 2010 Subject:
I got tickets for ALL 3 of these shows as a birthday present. My birthday is Sept. 26th the first night I had front row center I will be 45 this Sunday this one ticket alone is the single GREATEST birthday present I ever got. The Two Soldiers Jam was BREATH TAKING!! Thank you for putting this here. By the way Spencer Davis was FANTASTIC. A 10********** ALL THE WAY!!!!
January 21, 2010 Subject:
Good show. Good crispy board. I wish I could say this was the day I was born but by '87 I was already going bald.LOL
September 23, 2008 Subject:
Don't get too close
This one is HOT! The energy is awesome. They are playing well and having fun. Nice show... good sound. It's a winner!
September 22, 2008 Subject:
The day I was born, and not a bad 87 show either. Second set is on fire! china>rider>samson>terrapin etc.
March 16, 2006 Subject:
yes, Handsome Cabin Boy
other performances of this jam by the GD: 9/12/90 Spectrum, and 3/17/93 Cap Centre... all within 2 hours of each other. Hmmm.
Nice show... certainly some sloppy moments with Spencer Davis, but the first set absolutely rips.
September 28, 2005 Subject:
A generous heaping of Dead
1st Set: "Hey" there. It works nicely as an opening tune to a three night stand. Direct, bright and full of good cheer. There's little backbone & vigor to this "Althea." Besides Brent blasting his usual modicum of Hammond, "Rooster's" a bore. Thankfully the mess of the climax did heat up. (late 6/early 7.)YES! "Push." Next. "Masterpiece" is at least spirited if not genuinely soulful. Jerry's curious plucking and Brent's well-timed tinkling saves "Ramble" from obscurity. Playful poking with some "Adams Family." I wonder why, in '87, there's a plethora of 'AF' teases. The film did not come out til '91. Time for the set to be reborn? with "Cassidy." We're still in tame territory; however, Jerry's dramatic, full-toned excursion urges to boys into somewhat compelling areas. "DEal" ain't pretty, but the effort's there to provide a satisfactory end to this 'no need to ever hear again' 1st set.
2nd Set: Alright, let's introduce Spencer Davis to help with a quality "Gimme." Despite the band's fondness for much of Winwood's 70's output, he never guested with them. Anyways, Spencer provides a lean rhythmic guitar without Bobby's awkward complexities. Say "thank you Spencer." Ahhhh...yes, we're staying friendly and upbeat with "China." Ewww...Jerry's blowing lyrics left and right. Wow, this is subtandard. Noone wants to fully pronounce themselves. Thank goodness the segue goes smoothly. "Rider" is below averge as well. Thankfully, Sunday's "Samson" is emitting some smoke. Shockingly, "Terrapin" is also strongly performed, if with very little in the way of frills or grizzle. "Drums" starts us out in the middle of the Pacific Theatre. Think of EA military gamer, "Rising Sun." emerges what appears to be a "Playin," nope- "the Wheel." Wow, that was an obviously extended tease. Anyways, "The Wheel" is sweetly tinged. "Truckin" is a fine representative of abbreviated '87 versions. In addition, Bobby hardly makes any lyrical errors. "Stella" tries awfully hard to be isolated and austere, its purposefulness a tad distracting, yet its sincerity grabs you. We close this rather looong '87 second set with a pretty good version of the other 'American Beauty' rocker "Sugar."
Tonight's encore is of the Dylan variety; "Baby Blue." Poignantly performed despite Jerry's thin vocals.
Saved by the meat of the set list, and the last quarter of the show.
July 11, 2005 Subject:
For previous review
Nice Show here too, worth the Dl.
Handsome Cabin Boy and Two Soldiers are two of a countless number of old folk tunes that follow this pattern both in timing and in terms of the notes being played. You can find it on
12/9/91 and 12/17/90 among others.
Garcia, Grisman with Jim Kerwin on bass and
Joe Craven doing violin and beats
August 16, 2004 Subject:
Handsome Cabin Boy
Not sure why this is called the Two Soldiers Jam when it's the melody to Handsome Cabin Boy. Nice to hear nonetheless.
August 15, 2004 Subject:
great show (my 3rd)
i was 7th row center, the recording is crispy, the dead were on! the songlist is realy fun, but the execution is something to write home about,spencer davis, the two soldiers space was great also, theres a playin fake out of space and the wheel really gets there